With the first six points in the game against Steamboat Friday night, Moffat County High School junior Melissa Camilletti looked poised for a breakout game.
An impossible hook shot in the lane she made possible in the third quarter and eight points in the decisive fourth quarter later, Camilletti said she played the game she had been looking for.
“I’ve had a couple of bad games in the past,” she said. “Tonight, I got out of my rut.”
Camilletti led the MCHS girls varsity basketball team to a victory over Western Slope League rival Steamboat Springs with 26 points.
Coming into the rivalry game, Camilletti said her team was more than ready.
“We came out ready to beat Steamboat tonight,” she said. “We got a fast start and our defense was able to shut down their offense to close the game out.”
While the Bulldogs never trailed in the game, the Sailors tried to mount a comeback in both the third and fourth quarter, both times pulling within six points.
Still, the Bulldogs defense never backed down.
“We took charge and made smart decisions down the stretch,” Camilletti said. “We stepped it up when we needed to.”
The Bulldogs (11-6 overall, 4-1 WSL), who trailed after the first quarter of their last two games, implemented a new offense this week, senior post player Lauren Roberts said.
It paid off, as the Bulldogs scored double-digit points in all four quarters.
“Considering we put a brand new offense together this week, I think we played really, really well,” Roberts said. “We did well enough to win, and the offense is definitely worth learning.”
Heading into the game, the Bulldogs game plan was to move the ball and not concentrate on the post, Roberts said, which paid off in the end.
“I played my role tonight and grabbed some big rebounds,” she said. “I wasn’t supposed to worry about the post so much and worry more about working the ball.”
Roberts scored 16 points for the Bulldogs, including eight points in the fourth quarter.
In the Sailors (8-8 overall, 3-3 WSL) shot at a comeback down the stretch, the team hit numerous 3-pointers, an approach Bulldogs head coach Matt Ray expected.
“We knew coming in they could pretty much jack up 3-pointers from anywhere they wanted to,” Ray said. “I think we did a good job of not letting them get an open shots, which was effective.”
Ray said his team executed the game plan exactly how they had practiced.
“The girls played hard and aggressive tonight,” he said. “We were patient when we needed it and we pressed when we needed it.
“The girls wanted this win.”
Offensively and defensively, Ray said he liked what he saw on the court.
“We had really good shots tonight and we started really strong,” he said. “Defensively, we rebounded the ball when they missed, and I think that was the difference.”
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